Drink your food, chew your water

You must be thinking that the title appears to be wrongly written, but trust me it is not. I had the same thought when I found a video on my facebook news feed where R. Madhavan talked about his experience in Austria,but it all made sense in the end.

Let me give you a clear understanding of why drinking your food and chewing your water is so important and take you through R. Madhavan’s life changing journey.

R. Madhavan’s experience

He starts by explaining, there was a time when he felt he was unhealthy,his sleeping and eating habits were affecting his mind and body in a bad way. He googled about his problem and visited many doctors but was not convinced with the answers and results. He was looking for something which could help him experience a total change and get tangible results. He wanted to feel and look younger than he was.

Wellness retreat Viva Mayr, Austria

Fortunately, he happened to hear about this wellness retreat, Viva Mayr in Austria. He says, the lessons he learnt in this 150 years old institute were priceless.

So Madhavan arrived in the retreat overlooking Lake Altaussee with a very beautiful view. He was welcomed by the host. As he was very hungry after a long flight, he asked the host what arrangements they had for dinner. He was given a good vegetarian meal as asked.

Next morning after a blissful sleep, he went to meet the doctor. The doctor greeted him and asked him if he was from India. Madhavan happily said yes. The doctor replied that Madhavan paid a lot of money to come here, learn and experience something which they learnt from India. Madhavan had nothing to say, he was confused and was eagerly waiting to know what he would be learning here which he was not taught in his own country.

The Breakfast

After a short meeting with the doctor, he proceeded for breakfast. It was a huge hall with tables facing the lake. Every guest was sitting on their individual table, all being instructed to have no phones, no newspapers, no books. The attendants arrived and started taking orders from every guest and placed them on their tables. There were eggs, bacon, pancakes, donuts and much more, and all of it looked very appetizing.

They were all ready to begin their delicious looking breakfast when the host said that they may eat whatever they like but with only one condition, and that was, first finish this bowl of soup and 4 slices of spelt bread in the manner they ask them to. Everyone including Madhavan were waiting for their next instruction. The host continued again by saying that they have to follow one principle and that is drink your food and chew your water.

Like you, everyone there was confused. They were explained, they were to take a bite of bread, chew it at least 40 times till it becomes liquid and let the mind focus on it and only on the food in the mouth while they chew and then swallow it down. Then take a sip of the soup, run it in the mouth, let the teeth bite the watery soup and then gulp it down.

Being pretty happy with this idea, Madhavan started with chewing the bread, breaking it down with every bite to turn it into liquid so that he can drink it down. He focused only on his eating and could identify every flavor in this chewy bread. In 14 minutes he could not finish the bread, he was sated, and it was the same for everyone. Forget about the rest of the delicious food on the table they could not finish their primary meal that was given to them.

The Explanation

The host arrived with an explanation. He said the mind and the body knows exactly what it wants. The mind gets sated after chewing and eating for 14-15 minutes no matter how much the person eats. The brain will try to signal the senses to stop eating after chewing the food for that long. And if the person continues to eat, not listening to his or her body, the body could produce toxins and would affect the physical and mental health in a negative way.

He continued by saying the body determines where and in what form the minerals are absorbed so as to sustain and fulfill all the needs of daily activities. But again the lifestyle of each human being plays a major role as well to have the body function at its optimum and in an efficient manner.

We Are What We Eat

Our body is miraculously designed to turn your food into nutrients and then convert it into energy. Each bite of food is sensed and digested depending on the nutrients it carries.

Eating the right amount of nutrients, consuming the food at the proper time of the day and keeping it inline with your daily activity will design and define your mind and body and encourage the mental and physical health.


The process of digestion starts before the food enters your mouth. Your salivary glands start to secrete saliva with enzymes which are required to digest the food immediately once it senses the food. When you chew your food at the same time sugar and carbohydrates get digested and dissolved by the saliva in your mouth by breaking it down. That is why it is always recommended to chew your food well so as to help saliva to digest the food and dissolve necessary nutrients before it enters your stomach for further digestion and extraction of other nutrients.

Stomach Is Your Second Brain

Have you ever experienced butterflies in your stomach when you enter a nervous situation? That tingling sensation in your stomach is because of the underlying lining of an extensive network of neurons in your stomach. And that is the reason why the researchers call it as our “Second Brain”

The network of 100 million neurons in your stomach is more than in your spinal chord or other peripheral nervous system. This multitude of neurons in the enteric nervous system in your stomach enables us to "feel" the inner world of your gut and its contents. Much of this neural firepower comes to bear in the elaborate daily grind of digestion. Breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, and expelling waste requires chemical processing, mechanical mixing and rhythmic muscle contractions that move everything down the line. It’s so equipped that it can control the behaviour independently without consulting the brain.


Listen to your stomach, concentrate on your eating without distractions, drinking your food well and sensing each and every flavour helping your stomach to secrete relevant enzymes to digest and absorb the food. Last but not the least eat at the right time, and at least 3 hours before you sleep, will help you keep your body and mental health at its best.

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